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World News

IEA chief says Iran should be allowed nuclear power

In tghis file picture, the head of the International Energy Agency Claude Mandil talks to journalists during an interview in Johannesburg September 25, 2005. There is no reason why Iran should not have nuclear energy, the head of the IEA said on Thursday. REUTERS/Mike Hutchings

PARIS (Reuters) - There is no reason why Iran should not have nuclear energy, the head of the International Energy Agency (IEA) said on Thursday.

Iran, the world’s fourth-biggest oil exporter, is locked in a dispute with the West over its nuclear programme, which it says is solely aimed at generating power.

World powers suspect Tehran of seeking to develop nuclear weapons.

“I don’t see why a country like Iran could not have nuclear as part of its energy mix,” IEA Executive Director Claude Mandil told a news conference.

“There is no energy reason why it should be denied nuclear,” he said, although he added he understood the West’s concerns.

The IEA, energy adviser to 26 industrialised countries, has been an advocate of nuclear energy as a way to address future needs without polluting the planet.

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